April 14, 2019

THE PASCHAL TRIDUUM: The Liturgical celebration that begins on Holy Thursday evening marks the PINNACLE of Catholic Christian worship. Note that in the preceding sentence I used the singular “celebration” not the plural that would be expected when speaking about the services from Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday. That case choice (singular instead of plural) reveals a profound truth: the Triduum services - Holy Thursday evening's Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday's Celebration of the Lord’s Passion, Holy Saturday night's Great Vigil, and Easter Sunday's Easter Mass are not seen as separate celebrations but facets of one great Liturgical gem, the celebration of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Unfortunately many Catholics miss out on the incredible liturgical treasures opened wide before us; they skip all the acts of this play except for the finale, Easter Morning. If you recognise YOURSELF in the this statement, I INVITE (even CHALLENGE!) you to take in the entire “show” this year! Make Easter more than an excuse to chow down on sweets and devour a big dinner. Make it a true celebration of the UNBELIEVABLE GIFT we have been given and UNDYING LOVE we have been shown through the Paschal Mystery by entering - as fully as your TRUE obligations permit - into the Church‟s liturgical commemoration of said mystery!


OUTDOOR STATIONS: Due to the diligent efforts of Dave Ballard, Saint Aloysius' maintenance man and his lovely wife, Susan, the outdoor Stations of the Cross on the Saint Aloysius grounds have been hacked out of the brush and new pictures have been added to the crosses.


Because of this on Good Friday we are going to resurrect an old Saint Al's tradition: praying the Stations on the hill, making our way to the 3 crosses at the summit. We will begin near the Padre Pio Shrine at 6pm. Remember that we will be walking UP the hill; wear appropriate footwear. Stiletto heels would NOT be apropos!


NEW “OLD” CRUCIFIX IN SAINT ALOYSIUS SOCIAL HALL: I recently placed a new crucifix in the Saint Aloysius Social Hall. In reality it isn't new at all; it is actually a crucifix that hung in the original Saint Aloysius church building. It was given to me back in February (at my dad's 80th birthday party on 17 February to be precise) by Michael Patrick of Greensburg. Michael grew up at Immaculate Conception parish (I've known him all my life; my paternal grand-parents rented off his parents from about 1955 until about a year after my


grandfather's death in 1983) but his Saint Al's roots are deep. His mother, Philomena DeOre Patrick, was baptised there. His maternal grandparents, Margaret Spina and Anthony DeOre were both baptised there (in 1911 and 1908, respectively) and in 1929 married there. His maternal great grandparents Gaetano DiOrio & Filomena Sansonetta and Mary Ann Tomaro & Donato “Daniel” Spina (Italian immigrants I presume) raised their families in the parish. I am grateful to Michael for sharing this piece of our history with us!


ALLELUIA PARTY: You, your families, your friends (but not your pets; I am allergic!) are ALL cordially invited to the 8th annual ALLELUIA PARTY following the Great Vigil Holy Saturday night. As is customary the party will be hosted by me in my residence, Waters House (formerly known asthe IC Rectory). I inherited this tradition from my previous parish, Saint John the Baptist in Perryopolis. Sister Loretta, the Director of Religious Education, had convinced my predecessor to have the party in the rectory rather than the social hall. Her reasoning? People wouldn't bother to traipse up to the hall after the Vigil but would NOT miss the opportunity to “neb” in Father‟s House! Fortunately I absolutely LOVE to share my home with people. So PLEASE come and neb!


The main purpose of the party, of course, is NOT to neb through Father's junk collection in his rainbow-hued “crayola playhouse!” Rather, we gather to welcome our newly minted Catholics and with them to continue the glorious, JOY-FILLED celebration of our Lord's Resurrection begun at the Great Vigil - the most central, the most important Mass in the Church's year. (As the Resurrection is the most central, the most important event in the entire history of the cosmos, OBVIOUSLY the Mass which IS the Liturgical memorial of that event holds pride of place in the Church calendar.)


I hope to have a house FULL of Righteous, Rockin' Resurrection Revellers rightly rejoicing, relentlessly reciting with resounding relish the Apostle Paul's taunt “Death O death, where is your victory; death O death where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)! And with any luck a few brave souls will accompany me on my caffeine-and sugar-fuelled all-nighter, a tradition I have observed since my seminary days in the mid 90s. After the Paschal Fast (nothing but water from before Holy Thursday‟s Mass of the Lord's Supper until the Great Vigil is concluded) and the adrenaline rush of the Vigil, flushed with the excitement of Christ‟s Easter triumph, sleeping is the LAST thing I want to do!




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April 14, 2020